Despite several impressive recent entries into the Mac OS X browser market, Safari is still my favorite. However, as I’ve
previously written, there are still some features I wish it had. In fact, one of those missing features is something that I was able to enjoy way back in Mac OS 9 when I used Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. IE for OS 9 provided a very clever method for keeping track of
you downloaded a particular item from: It added the download URL to the file’s Finder comments. So if I had a folder with a bunch of downloaded files — which I often did — and wanted to figure out where I got a particular item, I could simply use the Finder’s Get Info command on that file to view the download URL. It seemed like such a simple concept, yet it didn’t even find its way into the OS X version of Internet Explorer, let alone Safari.
As someone who is lucky enough to get paid to try new software, I’m downloading more stuff today than ever before, and — thanks to developers who don’t adequately document their software — I’m often wondering where I found a file or disk image. (Don’t
get me started
about developers who don’t even properly name their disk images.) So I was really, really (really) pleased to discover the free DownloadComment 1.0 (
), from Ecamm Network. With DownloadComment installed — it works as an OS X Input Manager, so it works invisibly in the background — any file downloaded by clicking a link in Safari will have that link entered in the file’s Comments field in the Finder. Deja vu, indeed.
DownloadComment does have a couple of significant restrictions: It only works with Safari, and it doesn’t currently work for files downloaded using Safari’s “Save Linked File As…” command. (According to the developer, the latter shortcoming will be remedied in the next version, which should be released soon.) But even with these limitations, DownloadComment is a useful utility that fills one of the few “Why didn’t they include this?” gaps in what is otherwise a great browser.